The Great Destroyer
A 1978 Honda CB400II Hawk TII I bought from my friend Tyler as a project bike. I made some mods and learned more about bikes while working on this, but needed to get rid of it for our travel goals. It's moved onto an enthusiastic new owner and is his first bike. I'm excited to see what he will do with it.
Whiskey Ronin and Vazkor, Son of Vazkor
We previously both owned Suzuki TU250X's. Johanna’s was a 2009, named Vazkor, Son Of Vazkor. Named after a book by Tanith Lee, one of Johanna’s favorite authors, this was Johanna’s first motorcycle. Josh’s bike was a 2013 model, named Whiskey Ronin. These bikes had a surprising amount of power for only 250cc’s. They were lightweight and nimble, making them perfect for navigating Austin’s congested streets. After our second trip around the world, we came back to Austin and rode them all the way to Seattle where we used them for another year. We made a number of modifications, making them much closer to cafe racers in the end before we sold them.
In Flagrante Delicto
Our 2nd bike was a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650. This was a remarkable improvement in stability and power compared to our first bike. Very few modifications were necessary, and the bike was always reliable. We ended up selling it, along with most of our possessions so that we could travel around Asia after we were married.
The Dishonor of the East
Our first motorcycle was a 2002 Kawasaki Ninja 250. It was purchased off of craigslist and had an unclear history. Not long after purchasing it, there was a huge puddle of oil and coolant on the ground after a ride. Soon after it broke down on the road. After some amateur mechanic work, it was running again. But sadly broke down again, this time on the highway. After replacing the carburetor it was back on the road, until it died again. And again. Each time was a new lesson, and a new headache. Eventually I got tired of the bright yellow look and chopped down parts of the fairings, painting it black in the process.
Eventually more came off, and the gauges were replaced. It ended up being a very different bike in the end. It was sold for cheap to a kid wanting his first motorcycle. It is probably living in a junkyard these days though.
We have no idea what these were, other than they were 110 cc’s and they had lived a hard life. We had them for 3 days and they gave us a ton of problems. They had tires that would fit on a bicycle. None of the gauges worked, the starter went out on one, the mirror flew off of another, and one of the electrical sections was filled with water. But somehow they ran, and in the end, we really came to love these little bikes.
In 2014 we went back to Laos and used very similar (if newer) bikes. They took us across the Bolivan Plateau and showed us more waterfalls than we could handle.
We’re not sure what this bike was either, but it had an 80’s vibe, and was about 200cc’s. It was great for cruising around the small town of Sihanoukville, and definitely led us to some empty beaches we would not have found otherwise.
In early October 2013 we took a motorcycle trip through Ecuador with our friend Lauren Bruce Lund. We rode the following:
Lauren - Suzuki DR200 – The Happy Gringo – A similar bike to Johanna’s, this bike was a bit more reliable and seemed to have a little more power.
In 2016 we took a motorycle trip through Costa Rica with our friends Lauren and Naomi. We rode the following:
Johanna - Honda XR250 Tornado - These bikes were... not great. They had clearly been abused, and had numerous parts that were cracked or broken. Some gauges didn't work, electronics stopped, etc. But they got the job done.
Josh - Honda NX4 Falcon - More reliable than the Tornado's, this bike was still under powered and poorly maintained. It did acceptably in the mud, but we can't recommend it.
That's all for now, but as we take more trips, there are sure to be more bikes...